Scrolling news:

Philippines: Gov’t BIFF hostilities now claimed 16 lives

20th Feb 2016
Philippines: Gov’t BIFF hostilities now claimed 16 lives

By Hader Glang

 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, (AA): The death toll from just over two week’s hostilities between a splinter group of the country’s one-time largest Moro rebel group and government troops has reached 16, with over a dozen reported wounded, military officials have said.

The rebel group — the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters — is opposed to the ongoing peace process between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government, and has claimed allegiance to Daesh.

The military is reported to be using 10 armored personnel carriers, 200 ground troops and two MG-attack helicopters to battle the one-time MILF comrades in the jungles and marshes of the Philippines south.

Capt. Jo-anne Petinglay, 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, said in a statement Friday that the latest fatality in the ongoing skirmishes was an Army corporal assigned to one of the 7th Infantry Battalion forces who died while pursuing BIFF in Maguindanao province on Thursday.

Petinglay added that seven soldiers were also wounded as fighting continued Friday between government forces and the BIFF in the impoverished southern region.

“Two infantry men have been killed since Feb. 5 and 12 soldiers wounded, including an Army captain. Four civilians, including the Datu Salibo town treasurer, were killed when the BIFF set off a roadside bomb on Tuesday night,” the Army’s 6th IDd spokesperson said.

“There is no exact number of casualties on the enemy [BIFF] side since the start during the ground and air offensives.”

The army has previously said that six members of BIFF were killed during firefights with government troops Feb. 16 in Datu Salibo town, Maguindanao province, the son of a high ranking BIFF leader was killed Feb 9 during his father’s arrest, while on Feb. 5, two BIFF rebels were killed in running firefights from Friday afternoon to early Saturday morning in Datu Salibo.

However, Abu Misri Mama, BIFF spokesperson, told the Inquirer on Friday that since the fighting began, his group had only lost one fighter while three others were wounded.

He claimed 12 soldiers were killed and three tanks had been destroyed.

InterAksyon TV5 News Online also cited military reports that Friday’s casualties were caused by improvised explosive devices planted by the BIFF, who were being pounded by artillery and air strikes as the fighting continued.

It added that civilians have borne the brunt of the hostilities, with at least 11,000 fleeing their homes since the start of hostilities and that a number of schools have also been damaged by artillery and rocket fire.

Petinglay claimed Friday that government forces were closing in on the lair of the BIFF in the town of Tee — one of 17 towns in Datu Salibo.

The law that seals the peace process — aimed at bringing an end to a separatist conflict that has killed around 150,000 people — is presently stalled in Congress, as the house has adjourned for election campaigning.

It does not reconvene until June 30.

The BIFF broke away from the MILF in 2008 and has since rejected the peace talks.

 

[Photo: MILF libertation group has agreed peace deal with Phillipines Government. Photographer: Keith Kristoffer Bacongco/Creative Commons]

Leave a Comment

What is 8 + 5 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets